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Panel to decide the relocation of IAF ammunition depot in Gurgaon
The State Assembly elections is just around the corner and a restricted part of Gurgaon- the IAF Ammunition Depot of 900 acres is posing problems for the administration. The MCG chief Praveen Kumar has proposed a number of issues and wants to relocate the depot from Gurgaon to a place not populated, but relocation can pose a problem for the people living in the area. Thus, a panel heard the arguments and the proposal of the MCG chief.
Deputy Commissioner Ashish Vidyarthi said that a high level committee has been formed by the Union Cabinet Secretary to decide where establishment of IAF ammunition depot should be relocated to. Now the Committee will consider the suggestion of "shifting the depot" by Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) commissioner Praveen Kumar.

According to Kumar, the IAF had raised the issue of the strategic and operational requirement of having the ammunition depot in Gurgaon because of its proximity to the capital and the airport. However, Kumar said, "I have been deputy commissioner in Faridabad and during my time there I learnt that about 3,250 acres of unutilized defense land is available at the Tilpat Firing Range (TFR) in Faridabad which could be fully utilized by the IAF to relocate the station in Gurgaon and Faridabad including the ammunition depot."

As was reported by timesofindia.com, MCG Chief further added in the context of air distance, TFR is 26 km away from Hindon Air Force Station even the air base of Hindon is located near TFR. Apart from this, the distance between Palam Vihar Air Force Station is around 25 km. Gurgaon Air Force station covers 10 km gap to Palam Air Force Station wherein it is about 40 km away from Hidton. In January the High Court ordered MCG to provide electricity and water supply to the living on the 900 meter restricted area near IAF ammunition depot.

In the last hearing, Punjab and Haryana High Court took the note of the proposal presented by MCG Chief and directed the formation of a committee including Ministry of Defense, MCG Commissioner, Ministry of Urban Development and the Union Cabinet Secretary.

During the first meeting of committee, as explained by Praveen Kumar, he put forward two vital points of proposal. First like in Singapore, ammunition depot should be made underground so that it cannot affect the people living there if there is any explosion. It should be shifted to TFR. The redundant provisions of Defense Act of 1903 based on pre-Independence issues and technology should be reconsidered.

IAF officials were directed by High Court to adopt a human approach towards the two lakh people living near ammunition depot. In case the depot shifting is deferred, IAF will be liable to paying compensation due to any explosion. Deputy commissioner will take a decision regarding the amount in lieu of loss of life and things. 

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